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Full text of "Atari Force Comics Issue 219: Homecoming"

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19 
75* 

CAN. 95 s 
U.K.35p 
JULY 85 



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Best 10 Books of 1984 



© Swamp Thing 

Jon Sable 
© American Flagg 
Teen Titans 

Fantastic Four 



© X-Men 

© Blue Devil 

O Atari Force 



y Dr. Strange 
Power Pack 




*Best Books of 1984, Per R. A. Jones, Amazing Heroes # 63 

indicates trademark of DC Comics Inc . Copyright 8 1985 ' 'Indicates trademark of Atari. Inc. 




MtKe 8»ARON-/«S'//£' ( i? ED 0AKeTO^AEy<Y<«? JZiCASZOO Vll-UAGI2AN-^V*SS? 

BOB LAPPAN'iC€77»seve TOM ElUKO'COJcaeS*? ANDY HEUFeB'eSV/O^ 

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ATARI FORCE 19 Published monthly by DC Comics Inc . 666 Filth Avenue. Umt York, NY 10103 POSTMASTER Send address changes to ATARI FORCE DC Comics Inc 
Subscription Dept., P.O. Box 1308-F; Fort Lefl. NJ 07024. Annual subscription rate $9 00 Outside USA. $1 1.00 in US funds. Copyright O 1985 DC Comics Inc. All Rights 
Reserved. The stones, characters and incidents mentioned in this magazine are entirely fictional. All characters featured in this issue and the distinctive likenesses thereofara 
trademarks of DC Comics Inc. Advertising Representative: Sanford Schwarz & Co.. 355 Lexington Avenue. New York, NY 10017. (212) 391-1400. Printed in U.S.A. 
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DC Comics Inc. 
666 Filth Avenue 
New York, NY 10103 

Jenette Kahn. President and Publisher 

Dick Giordano, Vice Pres. 'Executive Editor 

Andrew Heifer, Editor 

Tom Condon, Managing Editor 

Pat Bastienne, Editorial Coordinator 

Bob Rozakis, Production Manager 

Joe Orlando, Vice Pres.-Edltorlal Director 

Paul Levitz, Vice Pres.-Operations 

Bruce Brlstow, Marketing Director 

Arthur Qutowitz, Treasurer 



We get lettersl So many, in fact, that 
we're able this time around to prim 
some of your reactions to both issues 
#1 5 and #1 6— with plenty more to come 
next time. Before we get to them, 
though, we'd like to point out a little 
something about this month's back- 
up — the one written and penciled by Ed 
Hannigan. Ed spent alot of time work- 
ing on it, so please give it the attention it 
deserves. Also, don't overlook the ink- 
ing contribution of Mr. Bill Wray, who is 
definitely a talent to keep on the lookout 
for in the future. And finally — con- 
tinuity freaks who want to know how 
this Taz back-up fits into the ATARI 
FORCE chronology have only to care- 
fully inspect the final panel to get their 
answer. That's all for now — let's get to 
the letters... 



Dear Andy, Mike, end Ed: 

From a comic which I was originally 
indifferent to, ATARI FORCE has 
become one of my favorites. The levels 
of art, originality, and characterization 
are far superior to virtually all other 
team books. Issue #16, "Siege," is a 
perfect example of this. The lead story 
involved very little other than the Force 
being trapped inside Scanner One by an 
army of giant bugs, yet it remained 
entertaining and suspenseful right 
through. Giant bugs are hardly an 
original form of monster; yet, with intel- 
ligence and near invulnerability, they 
made a very vicious threat. The char- 
acter conflicts between Pakrat and 
Rident were enjoyable, but, as usual, 
Dart stole the show. Dart is an excellent 
character. She's brave, smart, efficient, 
yet, at times, can be girlish and 
emotional. 

I love the current format of the lead 
story by the regular team, and then the 
back-up/origin tale by a guest team. The 
appearance of J'onn J'onzz and others 
in the Pakrat tale may have been meant 
as an in-joke, but I think there should be 
closer continuity with the rest of the DC 
Universe. That's not to say Superman or 
Batman should guest star; but, for 
example, you should have ATARI 
FORCE alien types speaking interlac, as 
in the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. In 
fact instead of having Bob Lappan do all 
those fancy alien letters, he should use 
Keith Giffen's interlac alphabet. 

As for reprinting of the original ATARI 
FORCE mini-comics, I think they should 
be shown. Not all of us have the Atari 
2600 video game computer. The most 
that you have shown us is how the force 



was destroyed, not any of their adven- 
tures. The best format would be to select 
the best two or three stories, write a 
framing sequence, and put them in an 
annual or special. 
Anyway, keep up the good work. 

Michael Pigott 
17 Hawking Street 
Preston, Victoria, 3072 
Australia 
(You're right. Mike — the appearance of 
our favorite Martian Manhunter was 
indeed intended as an in-joke. as per- 
petrated by artist Mike Chen. And that 
wasn't the only one — as other letter 
writers have pointed out. Usually we 
make some effort to play it straight with 
these "unannounced cameo appear- 
ances," but Mike has so much fun 
dropping them in here and there, we 
decided to let him go wild— and a 
comical Pakrat adventure was just the 
right place for him to do it. As far as the 
use of Interlac goes, we're happy with 
Mr. Lappan's original creations as they 
are — why limit reader's imaginations by 
letting them know exactly what aliens 
are always saying. Seems to us— it's 
more fun to speculate ! J 



Dear Guys, 

ATARI FORCE #1 6 was the best issue 
to date. I never would have dreamed that 
Taz was female. I also never would have 
dreamed that Rident would be nice 
enough to congratulate Tazl 

My favorite part, though, came when 
Tempest contacted Dart. I'm not just 
glad because I won a five-dollar bet, I'm 
glad because I love Chris. Keep him 
around for a long time! 

Lynn Tucker 
Las Vegas, Nevada 
(Gee, Lynn, we were going to say thet 
betting on the outcome of comic book 
plot developments was illegal, and 
advise you not to do it — but after catch- 
ing a glimpse at your address, we're not 
so sure anymore. But just to play it 
safe — don't take any bets on next 
issue's trie/— we guarantee it won't end 
the way you're expecting!) 



Dear Mike and Andy, 

I hope you're satisfied. Now every 
time Pakrat opens his mouth, I'll hear 
Tom Smothers' voice coming outl The 
world is not ready for a furry Tom 
Smothersl 

Could you have the Martian Man- 
hunter and E.T. come tomy party? When 



is it? Whenever they show upl I don't 
have any Draconian Loose Juice, but 
there's plenty of Reese's Piecesl 

David Alan Wright 
39 Howard Street 
New Britain, CT 06051 
/'AHA! We see you've spotted another 
guest star — albeit slightly off-color! As 
for personal appearances by the two 
stars in question, we're afraid you'll 
have to query their personal agents— in 
the case of Martian Manhunter, get in 
touch with Mr. Gerry Conway, who 
details his continuing adventures in the 
pages of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF 
AMERICA each and every month. As for 
the other guy — try Steven Spielberg! 
And if you get 'em to come, let us 
know — we'll bring the loose juice!) 



Dear Andy, 

In your back-up story of issue 1 5, 1 like 
"To Catch a Pakrat" for two reasons. ( 1 ) 
The story is good. (2)Theart is also good. 
What I mean by good is "Impressively 
Awesome!" 

The story showed that, in the multi- 
verse, crooks can be male, female, 
aliens, and come from another part of 
the universe. Then the story showed 
that rich people (or aliens) also steal. 
Not just the poor people (or aliens). So 
there must be a large variety of 
"crooks." 

The art Mike Chen does impresses 
me. He gives the characters expression 
and it really shows. You can believe the 
expressions on their faces. Mike's art 
gives out distinguished detail and a darn 
good look. His stuff knocks me out and I 
hope to see more of his work in other 
places. 

Oh! There's one thing I'm curious 
about. On page 4, panel 1 , on the back- 
up story: there is a green bald alien with 
a blue cape and I was wondering if ha 
was by chancea "Martian. "Who may or 
may not be related to a Martian in the 
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA? 

Ralph Wong 
895 Pacific Ave. #434 
San Francisco, CA 94133 
(You will be seeing more of Mike's work 
in the future — we've been keeping close 
tabs on this new talent. Look for' guest 
art jobs in upcoming issues of WAR- 
LORD and BLUE DEVIL And than keep 
an eye peeled for the project Mike is 
currently hard at work on — an uproari- 
ous hew mini-series starring none other 
than the Metal Men!) 



j CONTINUED ON 3SF PAGl FOUQWING. j 



THE MOST TAUCEP ABOUT 

comes evBur—£ygffjf 



JkwA 



Mmmm 



v-^ r* 5 ** /f /f"^ /T/r^ 



ifcfcitUM 




mm miMi mmsmi mi 

WmVl UNIVERSE Will NEVER BE7HE SAME.' 



SAL0: 





Enclosed 
is $1 5.00 per game and $1 .50 for shipping and handling. 



Pleatis allow 4-6 weeks (or delivery. 

BATTLEDROIDS is a trademark of FASA Corporation. 
Copyright* 1984. FASA Corporation. 
Alt Rights Reserved. 



fasB 



Dear Editor, 

Like the other letterwriters who 
addressed the matter in #1 6's iettercol, 
I am sorry that Jose Luis Garcia Lopez is 
absent from this mag, however tem- 
porarily. Unlike some of those letter- 
writers, I am not indignant about the 
situation, since I realize the realities of 
the matter. (I might be a little sad or 
wistful, but not outraged.) The change- 
over is even easier to take given the 
quality of the fill-in this issue. Ed 
Hannigan has gained a certain reputa- 
tion as an innovative cover artist — and a 
well-earned reputation it is. He shows 
here (once again) that his storytelling art 
la nothing to sneeze at either. I always 
enjoy Ed's work and I am continually 
surprised that he haa remained in 
relative obscurity and without a truly 
regular spot. And while I'm on the 
subject, let ma put In a request to see Ed 
do some scripting, either hem or else- 
where. I have seen even lee* of his 
scripting than his art but have enjoyed it 
nonetheless. And while I'm handing out 
praise, let me direct some at well- 
deserving inker Ricardo Villagran for 
retaining some visual continuity in this 
fill-in issue. 

As for the story, It is now obvious that 
Mike Baron is getting into the swing of 
things and bringing his astute yet 
slightly weird abilities into play. Tax's 
offspring were both surprising and 
intriguing. Their inborn-but-temporary 
abilities do seem rather contrived, but I 
suspect this minor flaw will be counter- 
balanced by their antics In the month(s) 
to come. 

ft was nice to see Rldent acting nicely 
this iasue, auch as in congratulating Taz 
about her newborn children. It is too 
easy to portray the pursuer as single- 
minded, rough, and holier-than-thou. 
All brothers have a kind of love/hate- 
respect/disrespect relationship and I 
suspect that Rldent and Pakrat's legal 
disagreements have only served to 
Intensify the negative feelings and sub- 
merge the positive ones — not obliterate 
either one or change the peculiar rela- 
tionship the feelings have between 
brothers. 

Yours truly, 
T.M. Maple 
Box 1272, Station B 
Weston, ONT M9L2R9 
fHmmm...We think you may heve a 
point vis-a-vis the Pakrat/Rident rale- 
tionthip—next issue's revelations 
should tell you a bit more about it. As tot 
Ed Hannigan'* storytelling abilities, we 
personally think they're out in full force 
in this issue's back-up story— let us 
know how you feel about it, won't 'cha, 
T.M.? And yes. we used Ricardo this 
issue (as we do in every issue) to keep e 
visuel continuity going throughout the 
series. Since Jose Garcia Lopes and 
Ricardo were there at the beginning, 
input from either of them seams 
necessary to retain the original flavor of 
the book.) 



figured I would finally write a letter to 
you guys. 

In AF. issue 1 4's sub-story, "A Babe 
in Arms." Babe is back on zhe planet 
Egg. I have a few questions. (1 ) Does this 
happen before or after Morphea I* able 
to return him to his home planet Egg? 

(2) K this la before he left Egg he 
shouldn't be able to talkl So how can he? 

(3) If this is after he returned, how come 
he looked puzzled when the alien called 
him "Bab*'? (4) Did the alien get the 
name Babe by chance? 

In issue 16 I noticed • few other 
things, On the front cover of issue 1 6 the 
bugs are about the size of Dart. Now that 
did not surprise me until I saw Babe at 
the end of the episode with bugs about 
the aize of his finger. If it's a mistake in 
the proportion, you should be ashamed 
of yoursefvesi (1) What happened? (2) 
Are the bugs smaller than Dart? (3) Do 
the bugs vary in aize? (4) Are you going 
to give) me a straight answer? 

Jason Wiley 
RD 2, Box 81 
Vergennes, VT 05491 
Age 12 
(01 course we'll give you a straight 
answer. Jason — don't we always? 
I snicker snicker) About your question on 
the Babe story — as In the cese of ALL 
our back-ups. this story takes piece 
before the Atari Force got together — in 
this cese. about six months before the 
interplanetary pirates came to kidnep 
Babe. The story is really about "leaving 
the nest" for the first time — and the 
difficulties involved In doing so. When 
Babe met the alien — who m happened to 
speak English (funny thing about aliens, 
ah?) — the alien called him Babe, and, in 
addition, gave him his first impromptu 
English lesson. The name stuck. After 
all, what else would you call a fourteen- 
foot blue creature with the proportion- 
ate strength of an ox? Your second 
question is eesler to enswer—like 
practically ell life-forms, the ants differ 
In site. But you should elso remember 
that next to Babe, everything else hoks 
amalin 



Dear Force, 
I've read A.F. issues 1 and 3-15 and I 



Hi. Andy, 

You will remember I'm the guy who 
said Mike Baron wasn't the right 
•winter for a book like AF. Welt, after 
reading the new #16 I get the feeling 
those words are going to haunt me for a 
while. He did in fact turn in one of the 
strangest yet most enjoyable chapters 
to date. So nice going, Mike, and please 
forget those previous comments. 

Actually, this whole thing has made 
me wonder how much of this current 
story line is actually Mike 'a or is it part of 
plot threads left over from the now 
departed Mr. Conway? Seeing it was 
Jerry, Jose, and you, Andy, who created 
Taz, was it then conceived that he waa a 
she? Or did Mike come in and say, "Hey, 
guys, let's do this wild and crazy thing 
with Taz'? 

As a budding writer myself, I am really 
curious about this and hope you'll 
enlighten ua all in the workings of your 
creative team. It would be nice to know 



exactly when Mike 'sown plotting for the 
AF crew wilt begin, if it hasn't already. 

Ed Hannigan turned in a fine art 
package that was quite pleasing to the 
eye. His -art is clean and very easy to 
follow. Not like some razzle-dazzle 
artiata who cram so much on their pages 
you have to spend hours figuring whet's 
going on. 

Lastly the second part of the Packrat 
back-up was just as great as its initial 
opening. Bravo, Andy, that's really one 
funny and action-filled story. The ending 
ahould be a blast. 

Holiday greetings to you all, and my 
sincerest wishes that 85 will be your 
best year ever. 

Yours Truly, 

Ron Fortier 

PO Box 266 

Somersworth. NH 03878 

fit's difficult to say where Gerry Conway 
left off and Mike Baron began In decid- 
ing the destinies of the members of the , 
Atari Force. Unlike most comics, theAF 
has a very strong continuity, without 
isolated "adventures"— at least not in 
the traditional sense. In fact, the entire 
aeries thus far can be looked at as a 
single adventure. This being said, we 
must admit that many aspects — includ- 
ing the true .nature of Taz— were 
thought up at the outset. In fed, the 
character waa around at the very start of 
the creation process, but Gerry decided 
to wait till a later issue to introduce 
him/her. When Gerry left scripting the 
book, Mike was given a very brief outline 
for future issues— Just enough to let him 
get en idea of where to go with most of 
the "dangling" plot elements In the 
story. Using this, Mike went off on his 
own directions, being careful to cover 
the necessary plot points with his own 
unique storytelling sense. The outline 
served to give Mike e vsriety of "sign- 
posts" in the Force's continuing 
Journey—but how they get there la all 
Mike's doing!) 



NEXT ISSUE: The trial that will forever 
alter the destinies of the members of tho 
Atari Forcel When you finish reading 
"The Verdict," we guarantee there 
won't be a dry eye in the housel Plus: 
The strangest back-up story yetl Illus- 
trated by Keith G iff en and scripted by 
Bob Fleming, this tale of the Hukka 
makes the Ambush Bug seem pale by 
comparisonl They said it couldn't be 
done — er — runt But we ran ft anywayl 
Don't miss itl 

—ANDY HELFER 





CONTINUED ON jgg :\\r~i t-CVQy 




A NEW CONCEPT IN ROLE PLAYING GAMES! 



for a catalogue write to: 

For ages 10 to adult. mayfair games 

AH character names, renditions, associated slogans, and F«0. Box 5987 
indicia are trademarks of DC Comics Inc. TM and Chicago, IL 

Copyright © 1984 DC Comics Inc. All rights reserved. 60080 





COLLECT WtM AW 

TM indicates Trademark of DC Comics Inc. ©1982 • 1982 Remco Toys, Inc. New York, NY 10010 




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GUEST MEANWHILE . 
ABROAD 



FROM 



Hello! 

My name's Paul Butler, I'm 22, hail 
from the UK, and I guess the fact you're 
reading this means Dick Giordano 
(hereafter to be known as "O Great 
Wise One") is allowing me to explore 
my own feelings on the comics 
industry, both here in England and in 
the United States. 

Sitting comfortably? Then we'll 
begin... 



© 



Being a British comics collector is 
not an easy feat, believe me. There are 
so few British comics of any real merit 
worth collecting these days. So to 
quench our ever-increasing thirst for 
this four-color medium we have to set 
our sights across the Atlantic to the 
twin towers of DC and Marvel. 

To be perfectly honest, Britain 
doesn't really believe that there is a 
readership for comics after the age of 
about fourteen, and so in its infinite 
wisdom it fails to recognize us. 

That's not to say there aren't 
exceptions, there are, but for every 
WARRIOR, 2000 A.O. and the (very) 
occasional Marvel (UK) product there 
are ten or so other comics that offer the 



same reworkings of old slapstick jokes, 
poor art, and imbecilic scripting. 

The annoying thing is, we have the 
talent. Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and 
Brian Bolland are the proof. Just pick 
up an issue of SAGA OF THE SWAMP 
THING, GREEN LANTERN, or 
CAMELOT 3000 and see for yourself 
what the more adventurous Brits can 
do. However, the fact that all three of 
the above titles are American proves 
the state of our own industry. 

How many British talents will be 
wasted because the industry in 
England fails to recognize their 
abilities or feels (wrongly) that there is 
enough call for their particular styles? 
Even if that talent is discovered, how 
can it survive in an industry that seems 
to stifle originality? 



^^ 



If it's hard work being a British 
comics collector, it's even harder 
being a writer or artist! 

That's why they turn to the American 
format comic and we, the fans, read 
them avidly. Its phenomenal success 
among British collectors must have 
something to do with its continually 
expanding horizonB and diversity in 
titles. 

Of course the super-hero still 
dominates (which I sometimes think is 
a shame), but at least if someone has an 
idea, and you guys think it's good 
enough, you'll give it a try... (Here, of 
course, I refer primarily to DC, since, 
aside from its two mutant titles and the 
adventures of a certain thunder god, 



Marvel hasn't done anything 
innovative in years.) 



£fy 



Some comics succeed, some fail, 
that's life, but at least they've been 
given a fighting chance and that is the 
important thing. In Britain that 
fighting chance doesn't exist. 

The American comics industry offers 
soap opera and excitement, morality 
plays in miniature, and stories that are 
just plain funl It doesn't matter what 
you prefer, it is the choice and the 
quality that's important. 

The next time you're looking 
through the comics on your local 
newsstand or filing past the racks in a 
specialty store, allow your hearts to 
swell a little with pride, think of us in 
England, and be content in the 
knowledge that yours is the country 
with the comics industry. 



© 



Thank you, O Great Wise One, and 
good afternoon to you too. 

Paul Butler 

7 Cobbett's Walk 

Bisley 

Surrey 

England 





* D 


c 


r ON SALE THE 


CHECK 


WEEK OF APRIL 4 


L 


1 S 


T 



D Justice League of America 240 

Mike Sekoweky returns to pencil a 
special JLA Casebook tale! 



D Crisis on Infinite Earths 4: The 

worlds come to a climactic conclusion, 

but what can the heroes do? 

D DC Comics Presents 83: Superman 

joins with Batman and the Outsiders! 

D Fury of Firestorm 37: The Weasel 

turns up to menace Pittsburgh! 

D Best of DC Digest 62: The Year's 

Best Batman Stories! 

□ Atari Force™ 19: At Last, the Force 
returns to New Earth! 

□ Hawkman 3:Aquaman and the 
Elongated Man get drawn into the 
Shadow War! 



D Tales of the Teen Titans 55: The 

showdown between Changeling and 

the Terminator! 

D Legion of Substitute Heroes Special 

1 : Can the Subs stop Pulsar Stargrave 

from conquering Matter-Eater Lad's 

homeworld? 

a Vigilante 19: It's the Vigilante's last 

case before Adrian Chase becomes a 

judge! 

L J Deadman 3: The Eagle has another 

chance to kill Boston Brand! 



Ml 



^am iu;/> 




They're the most awesome heroes 
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And they're yours in this incredible 
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Just squeeze 'em. Each has its own 
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You decide! 



Hawkman 



Figures | 
range in size 

from 
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Wonder 
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Aquaman* 




Robin'"